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[ The PC Guide | Articles and Editorials | Xcopy Xposed ]

The "Richkey" Theory

Ever want to get yourself really confused? Go to a popular Usenet hardware newsgroup, and post a query such as "I just got a new hard drive and want to copy the contents of my old hard drive to it; how do I do that?" Then sit back and watch, as a dozen contradicting answers are hurled your way.

Almost all of them will tell you that it's "easy". All you do is hook up the new drive, boot Windows, shut down all your open applications and run "XCOPY C:\ D:\" with the appropriate switches. What are the appropriate switches? Everyone has an opinion, because Xcopy has 18 different switches, so there are millions of combinations. However, a common set that is recommended uses the term "Richkey" as a mnemonic: "XCOPY C:\ D:\ /R /I /C /H /K /E /Y". It is claimed that if you use this correct combination of magical switches in your incantation, the partition will be cloned perfectly from C: to D:. (Of course the next email in your inbox will tell you to use a different combination...)

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